SOURCE: National Business Group on Health

October 23, 2007 17:00 ET

National Business Group on Health Honors Five Employers With Best Behavioral Health Services Programs

Aetna, Cisco Systems, Delta Air Lines, GlaxoSmithKline, Pitney Bowes Recognized for Innovative Programs

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - The National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of 285 large U.S. employers, today honored five U.S. employers for having outstanding behavioral health programs to help employees and their families cope with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Aetna, Cisco Systems, Delta Air Lines, GlaxoSmithKline and Pitney Bowes received Behavioral Health Awards at a ceremony during the 2007 Joint Forum on Health, Productivity, and Absence, presented by the National Business Group on Health and the Integrated Benefits Institute. The inaugural Behavioral Health Awards program was sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Services, a division of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"Research and experience show that behavioral health programs that address prevention and early intervention may help employers reduce presenteeism, absenteeism, and disability claims associated with mental health and substance abuse disorders," said Kathryn Power, director of the Center for Mental Health Services.

"We are pleased to honor these companies who have demonstrated leadership and excellence in their commitment to providing quality behavioral health benefits and programs to their employees and families," said Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health. "About 217 million days of work are lost each year due to productivity decline related to mental health and substance abuse disorders, costing U.S. employers $17 billion annually. Given this huge economic toll, it is imperative that employers make behavioral health needs a top priority."

At the ceremony, Aetna, Cisco Systems, Delta Air Lines and Pitney Bowes were presented with Employer Implementation Awards for their programs while Cisco Systems and GlaxoSmithKline received Best-Practice Awards.

Aetna was recognized in the category of Behavioral Healthcare Services in the General Medical Setting for implementing a suite of evidence-based case and disease management programs that include proactive assessment and early intervention programs.

Cisco Systems' Best-Practice Award was in the category of Early Intervention. Cisco uses health risk assessments to help identify behavioral health issues among employees, develop programs tailored to specific populations or disorders, and assist with program evaluation. Its Implementation Award, in the category of Specialty Services for the Seriously Mentally Ill, honored Cisco for using evidence-based benefit design techniques to address the needs of individuals diagnosed with autism.

Delta Air Lines was recognized in the Employee Assistance Program category for restructuring its EAP to be more responsive to the unique needs of its employees.

GlaxoSmithKline was honored in the Healthy Work Environment category for creating a prevention initiative which fosters both managers and employees working together to identify workplace pressures and mitigate them as well as assisting staff in the development of interpersonal skills to manage energy, power performance, improve communication, and stay mentally healthy.

Pitney Bowes was honored in the category of Disability Management for Behavioral Health Disorder. Pitney Bowes developed a personalized, employee-centered program to enable employees with behavioral health disabilities to return to work as promptly and efficiently as possible.

"Mental health and substance abuse disorders have a terrible effect on the quality of life of employees and their families. We have to prevent these problems and restore health as soon as possible. The companies we are honoring today are leading the way," concluded Darling.

A complete description of each of the company's winning programs is available at www.businessgrouphealth.org.

About the Behavioral Health Awards

The National Business Group on Health established the Behavioral Health Awards program to recognize employers that develop, implement, and evaluate innovative behavioral health benefits and programs to improve an employer's business operations and the health of beneficiaries. The Center for Mental Health Services, a division of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), sponsored the inaugural awards program.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The Business Group identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the Business Group, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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